Localizing the Global Compacts: First Report on Local Action for Migrants and Refugees (2022)


Local governments are central actors — and visionary leaders — in addressing migration and forced displacement issues. Every day, local governments around the world are taking pragmatic, people-centered actions that create the conditions for migrants, displaced people, and communities to thrive. This local action means national success against global goals.

Local leaders are increasingly being acknowledged as partners and global migration governance actors in their own right. In 2016, with the adoption of the New York Declaration, UN Member States recognized for the first time the role of cities as first receivers of migrants and refugees and agreed to strengthen cooperation with local and regional governments (LRGs). They also committed to develop a Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration (or Global Compact for Migration, GCM).

During the first-ever UN International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the Mayors Mechanism, in partnership with UNHCR, launched a Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees and issued this report on Localization of the Global Compacts to capture the continued political commitment and vast practical experience of LRGs to meet or exceed the GCM and GCR. 

In this inaugural report, we showcase actions from local governments and organizations that contribute to the Global Compact for Migration and Global Compact on Refugees.

The 2022 inaugural report on Localizing the Global Compacts brings forward: 

  • 70 local actions that make a tangible difference in the lives of migrants and refugees, while keeping the world on track to meet commitments set out in the GCM and GCR.
  • Commitments from 47 LRGs and their associations, representing 33 countries.
  • 40 local actions that expand access to services to migrants and refugees.
  • 37 local actions that improve city governance, accountability, and responsiveness to migrant and refugee communities.
  • 29 local actions that expand employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for migrants and refugees.
  • 24 local actions that offer humanitarian or financial assistance to migrants and refugees in times of crisis.
  • 19 local actions that serve migrant and refugee children and youth.
  • 16 local actions that address the impact of the climate crisis on migration and displacement.

The Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees is an ongoing and iterative program of the Mayors Mechanism and its partners, following the model of robust local efforts to Localize the SDGs and achieve the Paris Agreement

A next report will be produced in advance of the next national government review of the GCR — the 2023 Global Refugee Forum.  

How can local governments join? Step 1: sign the Marrakech Mayors Declaration; Step 2: Submit your action; Step 3: Learn through CD and peer learning


This report provides an overview of: 

  • What the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees is and how LRGs can join 
  • How the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees meets the GCM, GCR, and SDGs
  • LRGs’ progress building more inclusive multilateral governance of migration and forced displacement. 
  • LRG submissions to the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees
  • Recommendations for the future